MIDDLEBURY — Members of the Middlebury College community and residents of Addison County will gather at several points on campus this week to celebrate the life and work of Nobel Peace Prize-winning civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.
The highlights of the activities will be on Monday, Jan. 16, when author and researcher Maisha T. Winn will deliver the Martin Luther King Jr. Day keynote address in the afternoon and François Clemmons will lead student dancers, actors and guest artists that evening in the 14th annual Martin Luther King Celebration Concert, which features the Middlebury College MLK Spiritual Choir.
Winn, an associate professor in Language, Literacy and Culture at Emory University, will deliver her keynote lecture from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at McCardell Bicentennial Hall.
Winn has worked extensively with youth in urban schools, and in out-of-school contexts. After completing her graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, she moved to New York City where she conducted an ethnographic study of student poets and their teachers from the Power Writers collective.
She is the author of “Black Literate Lives: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives,” an ethno-history of African American readers, writers and speakers of the Black Arts Movement. Her research has been published in numerous journals.
Most recently, Winn’s continued work examining youth performing literacy and more specifically the intersection of arts in the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated girls has been published in “Girl Time: Literacy, Justice, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.”
The keynote follows a Brown Bag Discussion with Maisha Winn and Lawrence Winn, director of the Martin Luther King Sr. Resource Collaborative in Atlanta. The lunch is on Monday at noon in Carr Hall Lounge.
The concert “Let Freedom Ring!” will be held beginning at 8 p.m. at Mead Chapel. Clemmons, the Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence, will perform one of his beautiful a cappella solos. He will also orchestrate a celebration of the American Negro Spiritual (featuring the Middlebury College MLK Spiritual Choir) and the words of Martin Luther King Jr.
The concert is free and open to the public. Year after year this concert is a rejuvenating experience for those who take part.
Later in the week, the college will host other activities related to Martin Luther King Jr. They include:
• Middlebury graduate Radhames Nova will lead a conversation about how the versatility of a liberal arts education has affected his career on Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Ross Hall, Room B11. Nova went from being a Peace Corps volunteer, to fundraising for nonprofits, to sales in the financial services industry. He is now executive director of the largest Latino professional organization in New England with over 2,000 members. Nova will also discuss the importance of networking and of service/giving back to the community.
• “Race, Education, and Opportunity: How far have we come and how far do we need to go?” will be held on Thursday, 4:30-6 p.m., at Carr Hall Lounge. This is a read-in led by the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity Student Advisory Board.
• Verbal Onslaught spoken word open mike at 51 Main on Thursday, 9-11 p.m., is dedicated to poetic verse inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. featuring Middlebury alumna Catarina Campbell. Others are invite to share their work.
• Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Workshop on Friday and Saturday. This two-day workshop gives participants a comprehensive introduction to Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy and strategy of nonviolence. It provides a framework for conflict reconciliation, management, mediation, and arbitration. Registration is required at firstname.lastname@example.org.